Democratic Republic of the Congo
USAID is responding to the Mount Nyiragongo volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo credit: Moses Sawasawa / AFP
Clashes between March 23 Movement (M23) elements and the Armed Forces of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have continued in North Kivu Province's Masisi and Rutshuru territories, limiting the return of displaced populations to their areas of origin, according to the UN.
Health actors recorded more than 3,700 suspected cholera cases in North Kivu's Nyiragongo Territory between late October 2022 and mid-January 2023, exacerbating existing risks to conflict-affected communities in the territory.
In response to heightened humanitarian needs among conflict-affected populations, USAID the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) distributed essential household items to more than 45,000 people in Nyiragongo between late November and early December 2022.
The Mount Nyiragongo volcanic eruption compounds existing vulnerabilities residents face in eastern DRC due to ongoing armed conflict. Despite the implementation of a peace agreement in 2003, fighting between forces loyal to the GoDRC and various armed entities—such as the Allied Democratic Forces, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, and Mai-Mai militants—has contributed to high levels of insecurity and population displacement in eastern DRC. Violence, restricted humanitarian access, poor infrastructure, forced recruitment into armed groups, and reduced access to agricultural land and traditional markets have contributed to the deterioration of humanitarian conditions in the DRC and triggered mass internal displacement and refugee outflows. Insecurity and displacement have also contributed to infectious disease outbreaks throughout the country, including cholera, Ebola virus disease (EVD), malaria, and measles.
May 25 marks the third time the U.S. Government declared a disaster in the DRC in Fiscal Year 2021. U.S. Ambassador to the DRC Michael A. Hammer previously re-issued a disaster declaration on October 16, 2020, due to the humanitarian impact of the EVD outbreak in western DRC’s Équateur Province, as well as on November 3, due to the ongoing complex emergency nationwide.